Peeling off time to travel during the fall and winter is particularly difficult now that the kids are back school. Last minute getaways need to be mindfully planned, as I navigate days off and breaks from public AND private school. Our first excursion this fall was an all girls trip to Washington DC, with my daughters over the a four day break in September. The little ladies needed some bonding time with mommy!
We last visited DC two years ago, and the kids still refer to parts of that trip. I remember having dinner in Georgetown, peering out the window at this huge hotel near the water, realizing it was The Watergate Hotel. I’d only seen it from a far over the years, but its name is all over American history books in the 1970s, so when I heard about the new American Girl experience in the hotel, I knew we had to stay there! On a brisk Saturday morning, the girls and I headed over to Penn Station to catch an early train. There was a bit of a delay, but that didn’t stop our excitement, as they sat with their American Girl dolls, propped in their laps. They even had dolly clothing options, for our many events over the next few days. It was seriously the cutest thing ever.
After our three hours on the train, we took a taxi to The Watergate Hotel, and checked into the “Rose Suite.” The online photos that I had shared with the girls prior to the trip didn’t do the room justice, because it was pure magic when we stepped into our pink on pink on pink suite! The American Girl suite includes a plush velvet pink sofa, handmade rugs, American Girl’s best-selling books and select fan-favorite product, like the American Girl Grand Hotel, was in the suite for the girls to enjoy. The custom designed two-room suite had a spacious living room with grand chandelier, a dining table that seats six, and plush seating areas. The large bedroom contained a king-size bed, desk and master bath with window views of the stunning view of the Potomac River and Georgetown.
Check out the American Girl doll bed! There was even a doll-sized bathrobe and slippers available for the girls to use, outfit, and accessorize their little babies. As if this wasn’t enough, our package also included an American Girl movie and popcorn night, afternoon tea with their dolls, and mommy and me mani/pedis.
Our room was so dreamy that it was hard to pull them away from the American Girl fantasy land, in exchange for some outdoor exploration. With dreary weather, we were all perfectly content cozying it up in our room. That evening, but we did manage to venture out to meet up with my friend Kearyn from Walking On Travelings, and her family, for sushi dinner at RAKU. I am so glad she recommended this place, because its perfect for families.
The next morning, we ordered room service, before heading downstairs to the Argentta Spa for mommy and me treatments. Naturally, Gemma picked five different colors for her fingers, while Siella went the sparkly route. Afterwards, we discovered the huge pool, sauna, and hot tube, and I promised them after our trip to the museum, we would get our bathsuits and come back!
Best tip I received while in DC was from our taxi driver, who shuttled us from Union Station. As we passed the African American Museum, and I mentioned that I had forgotten to book tickets. He told me if I woke up at 6:30am, I could go to the museum’s website for same day tickets releases. I was so excited that when I scored tickets, because there was no way of getting tickets last time we were in town. The exhibits were interactive and chock full of history, so the girls were never bored. Hands down, it is by far my favorite museum to date, and a MUST see.
After the museum, we headed back to our Rose Suite, where they were setting us up for an afternoon tea! Without a doubt, this was the most memorable moment for the girls. We had a full high tea experience, and The Watergate Hotel pulled out all the stops. Tea time included traditional sandwiches, retro inspired desserts including scones, cakes, and panna cotta to name few. We each had our own pot of tea, from their extensive list. Gemma chose cinnamon, Siella had moonlight jasmine, and I enjoyed a passion fruit infused tea. Our afternoon was completely unexpected, in a dream setting. The girls were all laughs and smile, and to be honest, I would even consider coming back with just my girlfriends!
After we loaded up on tea sandwiches and sweets, it was time for the pool! We swam for an hour or so, and I even let them come in the sauna for a few hot minutes. Siella loved it, while Gemma couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be that hot! A hotel staff member took this photo of us in there and I just have to laugh every time I look at it, because their expressions say it all!
We were still stuffed from tea time, but wanted to get some dinner before turning in, so we walked down to The Watergate’s in-house restaurant, Kingbird. They offered a children’s menu, and the girls chose their staple spaghetti and tomato sauce. I opted for a Black Truffle Cavatelli, which was delish. It was a lovely setting to cap our over the top day!
The next morning, we relaxed in our room, and despite the rain, we made our way to the National Portrait Gallery Museum. We visited here last time in town, but the building is so stunning that we had to give it another glance. Afterwards, it was off to Georgetown to shop, and for a treat at Georgetown Cupcake- one of our favorites. The Watergate Hotel is so centrally located it was easy to get from one place to the next, and we mostly Uber’ed the entire time.
For our last night in DC, we arrived back at the hotel from dinner, to find the ultimate surprise. Turndown service left each of the girls a mini American Girl Doll bed! Siella’s excitement was surreal, so I’m happy I was able to capture it on the video below. This surprise was a lovely way to end our stay.
The next day, I wanted to sneak in a bit more sightseeing, before catching our train, so we Uber-ed to the National Mall, for a glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The girls wanted to visit one last museum before leaving, and they begged to go back to The Post Office Museum, a favorite from our previous trip, but unfortunately we ran out of time.
This girls trip was long overdue. The architecture and history of Washington DC is incredible, and I definitely see many more trips there in our future as the kids learn more about American history. Can’t wait to go back!
Big thank you to The Watergate Hotel for hosting our stay.
Watch the Video!
*originally published oct 9 2018!